Nikon Speedlight Mastery workshop ~ pictures and techniques

May 7, 2010 | Flash, Location | 18 comments

Wow, what a wonderful day of shooting, learning and fun we had on Wednesday. The Nikon flash system was opened up and pushed to it’s limit at times and it responded with a faultless performance. Here are a dozen of my shots from the workshop.

Four SB-900 Speedlights popped this shot into life.

Four SB-900 Speedlights set at full power in manual mode popped this shot into life.

A simple key and kick technique was used

I used a simple key and kick technique to light this low angle portrait of Nikki.

We used a SB-900 in a Lastolite Ezybox with a Honl full orange CTO gel and a and a

I used a SB-900 in a Lastolite Ezybox hotshoe with a Honl full orange CTO gel as a key light. I then rigged a second SB-900 with a home made full blue CTB gel as a kick light. A white balance of 3330k was set in camera to give this look.

Another split colour shot created with an SB-800 rigged on a stand. It was zoomed in to 105mm and fitted with an orange CTO gel.

Another split colour shot created with an SB-800 rigged on a stand. It was zoomed in to 105mm and fitted with an orange CTO gel.

I showed how to warm up a Speedlight to simulate an evening sun on an overcast dull day.

I showed how to warm up a Speedlight to simulate an evening sun on an otherwise overcast dull day.

A simple two light set up was again used for this shot.

A simple two light set up was again used for this shot.

A single SB-900 upstage key gave this shot its impact. We used the infra red trigger system for all the shots throughout the workshop.

A single SB-900 upstage key gave this shot its impact. We used the fantastic Nikon CLS infra red trigger system for all the shots throughout the workshop. I used the pop up flash on my D700 to trigger Speedlights at 30m in full sun (at times) without problems.

This is the random natural light shot of the session

This is the random natural light shot of the session. A two point key and kick set up created by a pair of windows in a bar.

Whilst in the bar I popped an Orbis on my SB-900 and we shot a couple of frames

Whilst in the bar I popped an Orbis on my SB-900 and we shot a couple of frames of Nikki.

This is another Orbis shot.

This is another Orbis shot.

A soft key provided by an Ezybox and a backlight given plus a stop of compensation.

I used a soft keylight provided by an Ezybox and a backlight given plus a stop of compensation for this shot of Nikki taking a break :)

Here's another of the train shots to end this set.

Here's another of the train shots to end this set.

There’s no doubt that the Nikon flash system is extensive and capable. Fantastic pictures can be made simply with the right knowledge and surprisingly minimal kit. With a recent and rapid decline in the number of Nikon delegates attending my workshops I decided to make this the last scheduled Nikon dedicated Speedlight event for some time. Canon users currently outnumber Nikon shooters by about 4:1 on my shooting workshops and only last year it was nearly even numbers of attendees.

If you are a Nikon shooter and you want to come on a Speedlight Mastery workshop please email Blaise and she will coordinate the demand. Please feel free to comment on these pictures.

18 Comments

  1. Heather

    Hi – not link to contact you or Blaise on this particular page I got directed to and I’m interested in the Nikon small flash course – can anyone help with Damien’s or Blaise’s details?
    Ta
    Heather

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Heather. I’ve modified the blog to add our contact details at the top. Thank you for pointing this out. You can call Blaise on 01275 853204 Mon – Fri 9-5 or email her at blaise@lovegrovephotography.com for the latest info and availability for workshops etc.

      I have no plans to run another Nikon Speedlight Mastery workshop or Canon for that matter as now we teach users of all makes of camera alongside each other. Sony, Pentax, Olympus and Fuji are all prevelant now. I teach a manual control system using radio triggering. I cover the use of the Nikon CLS (creative lighting system) in my Speedlight Mastery DVD (and video download option).

      I hope you understand and thank you for your enquiry.

      Kindest regards, Damien.

      Reply
  2. damien

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your compliments. Speedlight Mastery 1 covered Nikons creative lighting system pretty comprehensively. I’m sure the Nikon Canon balance thing is a blip.

    Cheers, Damien.

    Reply
  3. damien

    Hi James,

    This site, is for owners of Nikon, Canon, Hasselblad, Phase One or any other make of camera. It’s a picture making site first and foremost and I don’t share the view that one make of kit is better than another.

    PWs may well become available for Nikon soon. The delay is not due to a lack of effort on PWs part. No one wants them released sooner than they do. Trust me it’s not a case of finger pulling needed when such a massive profit awaits from the hungry Nikon market.

    I’ll try to keep the incessant jabber down a bit and I hope that those who already know their stuff don’t feel there is nothing left to learn because I’ve been taking pictures since 1982 and I’m still learning at a tremendous rate.

    Kind regards, Damien.

    Reply
  4. James Martin

    I think the reasons behind this may be due to the perception by visitors that this is a site more for Canon users than Nikon…sorry Damien. You are I know a Canon user first and foremost and much is made here of the PocketWizard Flex and Mini (of which the door has been firmly shut for Nikon owners for some time), couple this with publishing the apparent small attendance of Nikon users is maybe unlikely to induce interest.
    That said I have known Damien for over 14 years and I sincerely hope that PocketWizard get their finger out and provide the product so Nikon users can access all the benefits that your courses provide. Damien is it has to be said ‘nuts’ about photography and anyone attending these courses will get value for money, the comments on this site are a true reflection of the quality.
    I have over thirty years of experience as a photographer so he does not drive me mad with his incessant jabber about all things photographic (occasionally over a pint at the local). You can’t fault his enthusiasm and attention to detail, Nikon owners do of course enjoy a better product than Canon but we all know that. Guess it may well be true that we already know our stuff!!

    Reply
  5. Paul Beggy

    Great shots once again Damien. I’m surprised that the Nikonians are on the decline. Guess you’ll just have to release speedlight Mastery 2?!

    Reply
  6. Thorsten

    Another superb set of images here Damien. I always enjoy stopping by every so often to see what’s new and it’s great to see images like this.

    Interesting observation on the Nikon:Canon ratio. It’s quite surprising to hear this. If I’m not mistaken, Nikon are ahead of Canon on unit sales so I would have thought this would have translated to a higher (or at least equal) number of Nikon users.

    I think one of the strengths of your workshops is that you have experience of both systems and know the strengths and weaknesses of each. Hopefully that’s a feature that will continue!

    Reply
    • damien

      Thanks Thorsten,

      It might just be a glitch in the stats. I’m sure numbers will even out eventually. I had to pull the Nikon Passion on the Streets of Amsterdam workshop and I sold 2 days of Canon instead. Seems odd to me too.

      I hope you are well,

      Cheers Damien.

      Reply
  7. Chris

    for goodness sakes Nikonians, just look at what is achievable and this man can empower you to the same outstanding imagery. Get real, get on a course. Make it happen :)

    Reply
    • damien

      Cheers, Will :)

      Reply
  8. Darren Miles

    Hi Damien

    Another stunning set of images – my favourite has to be the one of Nikki taking a break, I would love to see the original colour capture of this one if you are able to post..?

    How about also showcasing some of your delegates best shots here on your blog Damien? I’m sure they would like to see some of their best efforts credited too.

    I’m a Nikon user and sad to hear about the rapid decline in the number of your Nikonian delegates. Hopefully, time will one day, allow me to attend one of your Speedlight Mastery workshops and brush up on my off-camera flash portraits – even if it does mean you have to dust off those trusty Speedlights once more!

    Keep doing what you do best – your images are an inspiration not just to myself, but to all who follow you.

    Very much looking forward to your next set of images.

    Best wishes to you – Darren Miles

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Darren,

      Thanks for your generous comments. I processed the Nikki resting shot in mono only. I thought about posting delegates pictures a while ago and I came to the decision not to because of copyright ownership issues when I eventually pass ProPhotoNut on and most delegates self publish on their own blogs and websites anyway.

      My next set of pictures are posted :) So you didn’t have to wait long.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  9. Lee Tuckett

    What can I say! the shots speak for themselves – the day was awesome. I was one of the lucky ones to benefit from a 1:2 with Damien – another reason why I love Nikon. Simple methods, stunning results!

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi Lee,

      We certainly had some fun. Thanks for your kind words and endorsement. Enjoy your shooting.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply
  10. James pardon

    Great shots once again, I imagine you’re tired of hearing that.

    Gutted to hear about the lack of Nikon shooters and also surprised as state side it seems to be the opposite way round. Are you doing any Canon & Nikon merged days?

    Reply
    • damien

      Hi James,

      I never tire of support and encouragement from my fellow shooters so thanks for your comments.

      The good news is that only one of my workshops is camera make specific. Speedlight Mastery uses up to 4 Speedlights at a time and rigging 8 Speedlights to cater for both Canon and Nikon shooters at the same time is not an option hence the Speedlight Mastery workshop is a single make event. Our latest Cherish workshop had 2 Nikonions and 8 Canons and this trend in the UK is growing. It might just be that Nikon users are just that bit smarter and know their stuff.

      I’ll still run Nikon only SM workshops (not S&M ;) but on an on demand basis. I expect that if the Pocket Wizard TTL products ever get perfected and released for Nikon there will be a new rush for workshops that I’ll gladly service.

      Cheers, Damien.

      Reply

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